New Year's Resolutions that are timeless include eating better, sleeping more and quitting bad habits. Have you considered the benefits of quitting drinking alcohol? A recent study found that no amount of alcohol is safe for your overall health, with any benefits offset by higher risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other conditions. The conclusion of the study, published in The Lancet, states that, "Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss. We found that the risk of all-cause mortality, and of cancers specifically, rises with increasing levels of consumption, and the level of consumption that minimizes health loss is zero. These results suggest that alcohol control policies might need to be revised worldwide, refocusing on efforts to lower overall population-level consumption."
Did you catch that? The level of alcohol consumption that would reduce the loss of your health is ZERO.
Back in 1988 the World Health Organization declared alcohol a Group 1 carcinogen proved to cause cancer.
There is no known safe dosage in humans, according to the WHO. Alcohol causes at least seven types of cancer, but it kills more women from breast cancer than from any other. More than 100 studies over several decades have confirmed the link with consistent results (see link to the studies below). The National Cancer Institute says alcohol raises breast cancer risk even at low levels. And even moderate drinking causes atrophy in the brain area related to memory and learning.
When you drink, enzymes in your mouth convert even small amounts of alcohol into high levels of acetaldehyde, which is a carcinogen.
People who consume more than three drinks a day are two to three times likelier to contract oral cavity cancer than those who don’t. Alcohol also damages the cells in the mouth, priming the pump for other carcinogens: studies have found that drinking and smoking together pose a much higher risk of throat, mouth, and esophageal cancer than either does on its own. Alcohol continues its damage as enzymes from the esophagus to the colon convert it into acetaldehyde. The liver serves as the body’s detox center, but alcohol is toxic to liver cells and can scar the organ tissue, leading over time to cirrhosis. This in turn raises the risk of liver cancer. Beside acetaldehyde alcohol contains ethanol, which is also a carcinogen.
Women, especially, are a major target of the alcohol industry.
Ads and products push alcohol as a popular and easy fix for the highly stressed American woman. An NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism) study found that drinking by women jumped 16 percent between 2001 and 2013, more than twice the increase among men. The alcohol-related death rate for white women more than DOUBLED between 1999 and 2015.
Many people are social drinkers and don’t see the harm in having a few drinks a week. Others are pressured into drinking when out with friends, or at parties. It’s hard to escape alcohol and its accessibility. It’s everywhere, including at gatherings where children are present. School surveys point out that most children start consuming alcohol around the age of 14-15! Children mimic their parents and in this case, that’s not a good thing.
The good news is that it’s not too late to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, including giving up alcohol.
Positive effects of quitting alcohol can be noticed immediately.
Among them are:
Better sleep (even small amounts affect your sleep)
More money in the bank
Mental clarity and sharpness
Increased energy and motivation
More meaningful conversations and relationships
Better decision-making, calmer demeanor, more concern for those around you, thinking of how to help others
Less cravings for fatty junk food
Increase in life expectancy of up to 5 years (depending on the amount of alcohol a person consumes daily)
It’s time to re-think that drink!
Article contributed by reader Joann Addis, former health care professional, mother of two, passionate about alternative health and studying to become a Natural Health Practitioner.
Lengthy article describing alcohol's link to cancer and the way the industry is lying to us, while targeting women: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/04/did-drinking-give-me-breast-cancer/?fbclid=IwAR0ALy8BgAaPFsHJWzS9X5NNmdMZYtifssVblQACYgdYigOYuva7smcCBtw
Alcohol causes brain atrophy in the area of memory and learning: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/even-moderate-drinking-causes-atrophy-in-brain-area-related-to-memory-learning/2017/06/23/7e07debc-576c-11e7-ba90-f5875b7d1876_story.html?fbclid=IwAR3bHuwHLw39ZbKOmnHsBje0dKHDgO5CTbX-HihZy0bfNOQUHfguKt7GBaI&utm_term=.91594af8a051
More than one drink per day shortens your life (actually any amount does): https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/new-study-says-more-than-one-alcoholic-drink-a-day-could-shorten-your-life-now-what/2018/05/25/47fd6078-5dd6-11e8-9ee3-49d6d4814c4c_story.html?fbclid=IwAR1fzH6W5Q67KgBYj-7JPh58tJQYXw1XFulRVQvFaITLgFvj7IRJEpfxfyM&noredirect=on&utm_term=.b64686c2b979
Alcohol intake lowers life expectancy: https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/13/health/too-much-alcohol-drinking-limits-shorter-life-expectancy/index.html?no-st=1540313154
Former drinker on quitting alcohol and the positive effects: http://jamesswanwick.com/the-blog/why-i-quit-drinking?fbclid=IwAR03MRJgaoe7R6jsT7iaZ66oBAQudRhzPg6EW-Se7o-0eW2P3FFrke-_QZM
Research studies linking alcohol to cancer: https://monographs.iarc.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/mono96-6B-06.pdf
There is no healthy level of alcohol consumption: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/aug/23/no-healthy-level-of-alcohol-consumption-says-major-study